Lawsuit over Apple's Powerbeats3 battery, sweat resistance given partial go-ahead

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2018
A U.S. judge has given the greenlight to a lawsuit against Apple over its Powerbeats2 and 3 headphones, but only if some amendments to the complaint are made.

Houston Rockets player James Harden with a pair of Powerbeats.
Houston Rockets player James Harden with a pair of Powerbeats.


While the seven customers in the lawsuit do have a case that battery life wasn't as good as promised, lawyers will have to fix allegations that the headphones failed in contact with sweat despite being marketed as sweatproof, the BBC quoted District Judge Richard Seeborg as ruling. The customers hadn't explicitly said whether they had sweated while wearing the products.

The plaintiffs did say they had owned multiple sets of Powerbeats headphones, but that none of them had lived up to Apple battery estimates of 6 hours for the Powerbeats2 and 12 hours for the Powerbeats3.

Apple has explicitly marketed the Powerbeats line as sweatproof, even using athletes like LeBron James to sell them. One of the affected plaintiffs, Christopher Bizzelle, said that he went through over five replacement sets of the Powerbeats2, but that each broke within a matter of months or weeks, at some point failing to charge or turn on. An Apple representative allegedly told him that sweat was the problem, but he nevertheless bought the Powerbeats3, going through multiple replacements of that as well.

Other customers have "similar stories," including failed replacements, the ruling reads.

The Powerbeats line is Apple's only set of headphones with any level of waterproofing. AirPods, EarPods, and other Beats headphones are a common sight at gyms, but not actually meant for intense workouts.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    ciacia Posts: 69member
    "The customers hadn't explicitly said whether they had sweated while wearing the products."

    I thought "sweat" was both singular and plural?  As in "
    The customers hadn't explicitly said whether they had sweat while wearing the products."


    Never mind, I looked it up.  Sweated is a word, you just don't hear it used too often.
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 2 of 16
    albegarcalbegarc Posts: 46member
    Power Beats 3 are terrible, a really bad product. I had a pair of those wich only lasted for 3 months, I had to replace them 4 times while the headphones were under warranty. I am happy that I sold then and now a I have a pair of Bose Sounsport wireless and belive me, this headphones are by far a better choice.
    hammeroftruth
  • Reply 3 of 16
    cpenzonecpenzone Posts: 88member
    Well, this is one of the first class-action lawsuits I've seen against Apple lately that I feel like addresses a real complaint (I don't like the butterfly keyboard but ours hasn't failed). I didn't own these headphones specifically but if they are anything like the other sweat proof products we've had they weren't durable enough or waterproof enough to survive an intense workout in a gym or a hotter outdoor workout or run for more than a couple workouts.
    llamaalbegarc
  • Reply 4 of 16
    claire1claire1 Posts: 494unconfirmed, member
    [insert Beats was a terrible buy comment here]

    cpenzone said:
    Well, this is one of the first class-action lawsuits I've seen against Apple lately that I feel like addresses a real complaint (I don't like the butterfly keyboard but ours hasn't failed). I didn't own these headphones specifically but if they are anything like the other sweat proof products we've had they weren't durable enough or waterproof enough to survive an intense workout in a gym or a hotter outdoor workout or run for more than a couple workouts.

    You'll love butterfly keys when it's dead silent.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    sandorsandor Posts: 505member
    I've been using my Powerbeats3 for 18 months with no issues.
    Hundreds of hours of aerobic workouts, with quite a lot of sweat.
    racerhomie3lolliver
  • Reply 6 of 16
    When the Powerbeats 3 work, they are great.  The inclusion of the W1 chip make them generally switch automatically between my phone, watch, Mac and iPad.  However, they do seem to have a high failure rate from my experience.  I use them for general use as well as running, walking and at the gym, so they are subjected to sweat from exercise.  My first pair lasted 6 months and then every subsequent replacement pair would last 2-4 weeks before failing again.  They finally went out of warranty.  Apple replaced them one last time just after warranty, but again they failed not too long afterwards.

    My second pair lasted 2 months before intermittently failing.  As example, the volume would just turn up randomly.  Now they will occasionally just not charge, but then start again.  I purchased a second pair, because the first ones were being repaired and had a 10K I wanted them for.  

    I never had complaints about daily battery life.  Usually, I would just plug them in after morning run or evening exercise.  But maybe I was doing it wrong by not waiting until it was fully discharged to recharge.

    I tried the AirPods, but I am part of the, supposedly, small percent of people whereby they just fall out of my ears.  Well, to be fair, it kept falling out of my left ear when doing nothing and right ear when motion was involved.  Trying any of the attachments to AirPods to make them stay on seems counterproductive since the attachments would need to be removed (and quickly lost) when needing to place them in the case to charge.
    albegarc
  • Reply 7 of 16
    ciacia Posts: 69member
    Started with Powerbeats3 but they were to big for my tastes. They hurt my ears.  Especially in winter when I would go snowboarding and goggle straps would press them into my head.  Really hurt.   

    Switched to BeatsX last summer and have been really happy with them so far.
    albegarcracerhomie3
  • Reply 8 of 16
    f1ferrarif1ferrari Posts: 262member
    I bought my wife a pair of the Powerbeats3 to run in and last summer we traded them in 4 times from sweat breaking them. I’m jumping in on this as soon as others can be included!
    albegarc
  • Reply 9 of 16
    kiowavtkiowavt Posts: 78member
    I bought them at Costco. Wore them a week. Sweat paused the videos I was watching on the elliptical at the gym (and there was a fan--not my wettest day working out by a long shot). Stop-start again-stop-start again--volume up without me doing it, or down. Horrible. I love Apple. They were lame. Returned them. They were high priced falsely sweat-proof junk. The AirPods do better! Never an issue.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    I have a dead, out of warranty pair too. 

    They go from fully charged to red to fully charged in the blink of an eye... viscious circle

    They then started just turning themselves off and wouldn’t turn back on until they had dried out from sweat.






  • Reply 11 of 16
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 314member
    I had my first pair of Powerbeats3 for over 12 months without an issue. I could work out for an hour or two and even go on a 30-40km run without an issue. Sweat never bothered them and even running in light rain didn't trip them up. Eventually one of the over ear arms broke and was replaced under extended warranty. 2nd pair is still going strong after a few months with no issue from sweat or light rain. 


  • Reply 12 of 16
    I have a dead, out of warranty pair too. 

    They go from fully charged to red to fully charged in the blink of an eye... viscious circle

    They then started just turning themselves off and wouldn’t turn back on until they had dried out from sweat.






    Call Applecare and state your case. They might replace them. Just be nice and go into detail what happened. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 13 of 16
    You could avoid going thru all the rigamarole of a class action by either contacting Applecare or if you bought yours at a store, go to the store and speak to a manager. Most times they will apply the cost to a different brand or type of headphones. It all depends on your attitude and how you speak to them. 
    albegarclolliver
  • Reply 14 of 16
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,113member
    Wut?  If they are sweat proof and sweat damages them then don’t the plaintiffs win?

    i have never heard of these products.  I guess it’s because the are beats products and (fill in couldn’t give a shit here).  
  • Reply 15 of 16
    You could avoid going thru all the rigamarole of a class action by either contacting Applecare or if you bought yours at a store, go to the store and speak to a manager. Most times they will apply the cost to a different brand or type of headphones. It all depends on your attitude and how you speak to them. 
    You could not be more wrong. This is unacceptable, they should not be allowed to lie and steal from customers. I politely called Applecare after my 2nd pair broke. They are out of warranty now and they said "sorry about your luck" and offered to sell me a new pair. THIEVES. I wish I could get in on this lawsuit.
    edited September 2018
  • Reply 16 of 16
    htet said:
    You could avoid going thru all the rigamarole of a class action by either contacting Applecare or if you bought yours at a store, go to the store and speak to a manager. Most times they will apply the cost to a different brand or type of headphones. It all depends on your attitude and how you speak to them. 
    You could not be more wrong. This is unacceptable, they should not be allowed to lie and steal from customers. I politely called Applecare after my 2nd pair broke. They are out of warranty now and they said "sorry about your luck" and offered to sell me a new pair. THIEVES. I wish I could get in on this lawsuit.
    Literally, same thing just happened to me. Purchased a pair in July, I workout pretty regularly, they are great shape, no wear, no damage, and then the buttons stop working. They connect, you just cant control the volume or pause the units via the stalk. Then they will just disconnect via BT. I’ll have to manually re-pair them. All this while I’m in the middle of exercise. Called Apple, dude is like, so uh, hey, we can repair them for $99. I bought them for $139 on sale. Something in my heart just cant allow me to do that. Just cant. It feels damn near criminal.
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